Promoting Access for Blind and Visually Impaired Patrons: An IFLA Manifesto and Its Strategic Importance for American Libraries

By Marlin, Mike L. | American Libraries, November-December 2014 | Go to article overview

Promoting Access for Blind and Visually Impaired Patrons: An IFLA Manifesto and Its Strategic Importance for American Libraries


Marlin, Mike L., American Libraries


On June 28, 2013, delegates from member countries of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency, signed the "Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled" (AL, Sept./Oct. 2013, p. 14). This historic treaty, intended to ease international copyright restrictions on publications for print-disabled readers, still requires ratification by at least 20 WIPO member countries in order to become legally binding.

At the 37th UNESCO General Conference in Paris in November 2013, a parallel resolution passed overwhelmingly. Endorsed by the Governing Board of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and developed by its Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities (LPD) section, the "Manifesto for Libraries Serving Persons with a Print Disability" (the LPD Manifesto) is an expression of the political will to include everyone in the information stream. It urges libraries worldwide to "improve and promote accessible library and information services" to the estimated 285 million blind and visually impaired people on the planet. Nearly 21 million reside in the United States, not including millions more with print disabilities due to physical or organic reading impairment such as dyslexia.

The LPD Manifesto points to the necessary services, collections, equipment, and facilities that libraries must provide to ultimately level the playing held and help eradicate the current "book famine," a term coined by the World Blind Union to draw attention to the fact that less than 5% of books published annually are accessible to print-disabled individuals.

The history of the manifesto dates back to the IFLA LPD "People, Public Libraries, Publishers" conference (P3 conference) in Mechelen, Belgium, in August 2009. The LPD section began drafting a statement to raise political awareness and support the negotiation process at WIPO for what later became the Marrakesh Treaty. The LPD Manifesto went through many drafts and was finally endorsed by the IFLA governing board in April 2012, too late for adoption at the UNESCO 36th Biennial General Conference held in Paris in November 2011. With the help of IFLA staff, LPD applied for UNESCO recognition in November 2013 and was successful in gaining adoption of the Manifesto at the Paris conference.

As WIPO stakeholders continue to develop the infrastructure and mechanics for sharing digital files of accessible-format works through the Accessible Books Consortium (launched in June 2014 to implement the objectives of the Marrakesh Treaty), decision makers and library leaders who support equitable library services are encouraged to create action plans that follow the legislative, economic, and universal design guidelines described in the Manifesto. With the advent of digital information, accessible platforms, technology, and hardware, the opportunity for equitable access for people with print disabilities is now within reach. The full text of the LPD Manifesto, endorsed by IFLA in April 2012, follows.

The LPD Manifesto

Lack of access to information is the biggest barrier for persons with a print disability to fully and effectively participate in all aspects of society.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (especially articles 9,21, and 24) states that print-disabled people have the right to equal access to books, knowledge, and information at the same time, cost, and quality as everyone else.

There are over 285 million blind and partially sighted people in the world, and this number is growing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Promoting Access for Blind and Visually Impaired Patrons: An IFLA Manifesto and Its Strategic Importance for American Libraries
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.